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Person of Interest “YHWH” Review (4×22)

6 May

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“We’re the Machine’s last hope.”

What an ending. What a finale. What a show. Somehow, Person of Interest has the ability to keep turning it up a notch, to keep delivering some of the most thrilling, compelling, and relevant television on right now. With “YHWH”, it concludes yet another great season in grand fashion, and what we’re witnessing right now is TV at its best. Who would’ve thought four years ago that this would eventually become such a layered and brilliant series?

This is all on display in the finale, which seems to focus on the idea of humanity, on the concept of “people” in relation to The Machine/Samaritan. Early on in the episode, Root tells Finch that “The Machine is the priority”, but Finch responds by asserting that “the people are the priority”, that the people are “the reason for The Machine’s existence”. Here, we see two major ideas at the forefront, ideas that have carefully been developed over the course of the series: 1) loss brings people together, and 2) The Machine certainly does have some semblance of humanity. This is a quick exchange, but it does a great job of intertwining Team Machine and The Machine, uniting the two in anticipation of their (already occurring) showdown with Samaritan. “No more standing on the sidelines,” Root says. “You want us to save your skin? Get in the game.”

Later on in the episode, we see the idea pop up again when Control tells Grice that because he let Shaw go, he “valued people over protocol”. Control has a different perception toward things than Team Machine does, but what’s great about the handling of her character in this episode is that you expect her to be the team’s knight in shining armor. You expect her to take down Greer and stop a potential Supreme Court bombing, but in the end, her control is once again stripped from her. “WE handed the feeds to Greer,” she realizes, “and after this, we’ll be under their thumb.” What makes this situation different from Finch creating The Machine is that Finch didn’t merely act as an intermediary; here, Control realizes that she and Senator Garrison are pawns, that they helped facilitate the takeover by a powerful force. She does not have the emotional connection to anything that Finch does.

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And so, when The Machine communicates with Finch at the end, it’s an extremely affecting moment. “I thought you would want me to stay alive. Now, you are not sure.” are two of the most devastating lines ever written for the show, and the look on Harold’s face upon reading it speaks volumes. Here, the importance of humanity is emphasized yet again, as Harold is God to the Machine. It’s really damn heartbreaking because now, you realize that the creation has been listening to her creator express doubts, that the creation has seen the disappointment on the creator’s face first-hand. Of course, at the end of the day, Finch and Root won’t let anyone stop them from saving The Machine, and there’s an interesting parallel set-up going on here: The Machine goes from being everywhere to being compressed into a suitcase, and Samaritan is going from large-scale control to small-scale “Corrections”.

Speaking of, there’s an extremely intriguing discussion going on between Control and Greer at the end. “The world has only ever been made a better place by violence,” Greer argues. He goes further to say that “most of humanity is docile. Only a few hundred people ever create problems: the disrupters, the outliers. Then, there are the disloyal.” Here, we find out that “The Correction” is not a large attack on D.C., but rather an attempt to “kill the right people”. So, there’s an acknowledgment by Samaritan of the fact that people can make things difficult, but I think Samaritan’s still underestimating when it comes to humanity. This greedy little AI wants to be God, a “deity directing [peoples’] fates”, but the truth of the matter is that humans are not the docile creatures it anticipates controlling. Want a “test of loyalty”, Samaritan? Just watch how members of Team Machine support each other. No room for outliers? Well, one so-called “outlier”, Elias, built up respect and power because he understood the importance of maintaining relationships. Right now, Samaritan believes it can roll over the rest of the world, but based on what we’ve seen, we know that’s not true. Team Machine is coming to get you, Samaritan, and they’ll even do it in slow-mo.

GRADE: A 

SEASON GRADE: B+/A-

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OTHER THOUGHTS:

-I love how Samaritan taking out certain people ties into the show’s first theme of irrelevance versus relevance. Also, this may be analogous to, say, drone warfare.

-Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine”. Wonder how long they’ve wanted to use that one. It’s a perfect song for this show.

-REESE IN GOD MODE.

-I wonder why Control isn’t killed immediately. They must have another use for her.

-Thank you to the show for not bringing back Gabriel. A lot more power when it’s just words on a screen, rather than a boy speaking in a menacing tone.

– “YHWH”–> “Yahweh”–> “God”, in case you were wondering.

-I love how incompetent the bad guys always are at shooting the main characters. Such a cool ending, though, so it’s totally fine.

-Bear would like to have a word with the POI producers.

-A big round of applause to Enrico Colantoni and Winston Duke for their work throughout the series. Colantoni in particular was phenomenal. Who knows, though? Maybe Elias isn’t dead.

-There will most likely be a season five, but now, the question is whether it will be the last season or not. Personally, I don’t think drama shows should exceed six seasons, and it’s looking like POI is heading toward a natural conclusion. I don’t want it to end, but I want it to go out on top. Anyway, thanks for reading. I had so much fun covering every episode this year, and I hope I’ll be able to do it again next season.

Photo credit: CBS, Person of Interest

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6 Responses to “Person of Interest “YHWH” Review (4×22)”

  1. Hepburn3 May 6, 2015 at 12:48 am #

    Great review PB! I have been waiting since last Tuesday for this and now it is here! I loved this episode and I am so happy that it is here finally but so sad that my favourite show is not going to be back until October. 😦
    So much to love! So much to praise! This show is so wonderfully plotted, scripted, acted and thoughtfully mapped out from the blocking, camera angles, to the soundtrack. I have never really wanted a soundtrack to a tv show before but I love PoI music choices, they are so succinct just like the musical choices in MadMen.
    Yes people died but happily our favourite AI is still with us, resting in a deluxe briefcase but now it can recoup and regroup with her team and Harold will rebuild her and she will be stronger!
    When the Machine spoke to Harold in the end my heart just broke, and the look on Harold’s face was just so wounded, he realized that he hurt his child. I loved that the Machine called Harold Father, it was a scared child pleading for love, support and help from its parent, and it was also rather Christ like when Jesus is in the garden of Gethsemane praying to God his Father to pass this cup, to not be the sacrifice and to die, but accepting his fate in the end. I cried to be honest.
    And I loved that Harold saved his child like a parent would, how he did not hide when he Root and John walked outside in a hail of gunfire but fiercely faced his enemies. Boy is he gonna smite Samaritan and Greer next season when “resurrects” his child from the dead! I can hardly wait for that reckoning!
    People died, they had to, Control should just shot Greer in the head point blank and not wasted anytime talking to that snake and now she is in a pit. Dominic lost it all and died so did Elias but maybe your are right Elias may not be dead.
    I am glad that Fusco is still around and Harper will be too I think. I remember Harper said she was getting texts from someone called Thornhill, so it was the Machine!
    Dr. Grace and John may just have a chance, but we will see.
    Things that I loved. How we heard the Machine have a female voice, and how she spoke to John with help with the fax and then when she asked if he could hear her? I also loved how she helped him kill all of those Samaritan drones! I loved Root’s fierce love and loyalty to Harold the Machine and even John, but yes where is darling Bear?
    I really really hate Greer, I mean hate. He is just so arrogant Sith you know what I mean? He was like Palpatine and his arrogant attempt to wipe out and destroy the Jedi, the way he was talking about killing the Machine and the way he spoke to Control as she watched the correction being done. I would love for Shaw to pick him up like Vadar did and toss him over the edge, I think that Shaw has been brainwashed into the dark-side… I hope that she can be redeemed like Vadar as in the end but I hope that she does not die like he did.
    Can you tell that I celebrated May the Fourth be with you? 😉
    Again so much to love and I am excited and stoke for season 5! Root, Finch, Reece, Fusco and Bear! and hopefully Harper and Shaw who will come back alive and deprogrammed. I think that this show would make an amazing big screen film, I would love that when it ends tv wise.
    I am going to watch it again! I have to!
    Thanks for the nifty review! I look forward to next season and your point of view! 🙂

    • polarbears16 May 6, 2015 at 12:58 am #

      Yes, agreed! I forgot to mention that female voice bit, that was a wonderful moment. And the fax machine scene was great as well, it built up extremely well and ended perfectly: Reese going into God Mode. Reese and Root side by side fighting off baddies is the best.

      And yes, Greer is very hateable, which is why I guess he makes such a great villain. 🙂 Great comparison to Palpatine, I can definitely see that.

      Really enjoyed your commentary throughout the season. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Also, hopefully the Habs can get out of that 2-0 hole tomorrow!

      • Hepburn3 May 6, 2015 at 1:00 am #

        I hope that the Habs can because they have to! 🙂

  2. Justin May 6, 2015 at 6:03 am #

    What a great finale. It ended differently than I thought it would which involved the end of Samaritan and Greer. But it was still a great finale. The moment the Machine spoke to Harold time seem to stopped for me. It was sad and touching. The Pinky Floyd song just heightened the moment.

    I read post-finale interviews that seem to confirm that Elias is dead which is unfortunate. He was one of the show’s greatest characters.

    I believe Person of Interest shouldn’t go for more than six seasons. I just hope it doesn’t take the entirety of next season to resolve Samaritan and Greer.

  3. martina May 22, 2015 at 7:57 am #

    How does Jim Caviezel feel about the Catholic church’s awful treatment of lefthanders (like himself) over the centuries and up until recently (especially here in Italy), burning people at the stake for being lefthanded and cruelly hitting them on their left hands at catholic schools or tying their left hands behind their backs to force them to write with the more “correct” hand? How do you feel about their hypocritically using the bible as an excuse for this behaviour while hypocritically accepting Michaelangelo (also lefthanded) because they needed his skill to paint their horrible churches and completely ignoring God’s favouring a left hander to rescue his people at Judges 3:15?

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